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Time To Get Down (Extended Mix)

The Sierra Club is a 128-year-old organization with a complex history, some of which has caused significant and immeasurable harm. As defenders of Black life pull down Confederate monuments across the country, we must also take this moment to reexamine our past and our substantial role in perpetuating white supremacy.

Time to Get Down (Extended Mix)

Pending approval from our board, we will shift $5 million from our budget over the next year -- and more in the years to come -- to make long-overdue investments in our staff of color and our environmental and racial justice work. We will create a dialogue with, and resources for, our members about the intersection between racism and environmental justice issues, and invest in our HR and training capacities to ensure that staff, volunteers, and members are held accountable for any harm they inflict upon members of our Sierra Club community who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color. We will also spend the next year studying our history and determining which of our monuments need to be renamed or pulled down entirely.

You accused Muir of having friends who were racists, but these were not so much friends as professional associates. And guilt by association is always a weak rhetorical ploy. We all know people whose opinions we deplore, with whom we still sometimes have to deal. Muir had scores of professional acquaintances; he is not responsible for their flaws.

Thank you very much for this wonderful article. I totally support the work in repenting and rectifying the Sierra Club's racist past to create an organization that promotes justice, equity and inclusion. I applaud your work in turning us in the right direction. I certainly was not aware of that racist past until reading your article. Nevertheless, I'm not in favor of pulling down statues of John Muir, who does not deserve to be held in disdain and loathing equal to Confederate generals.

I have been a member of Sierra Club since 1999, but I will not renew my membership this year. Not because I am racist, but because denouncing the wrong ideologies of the past by smearing a great individual via guilt by association is illogical and wrong. Rather than tearing down a statue of a Confederate hero like Robert E. Lee, I say build a new one to abolitionist heroes like Frederick Douglass or Levi Coffin. The Sierra Club is following the path of virtue-signalling and reacting to guilt over the past sins of America, which are legion. By smearing John Muir rather than giving a balanced view of the man and his story, you are doing a great disservice to our collective understanding of American history.

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